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Richard Wagner's Influence on Swedish Opera between 1880 and 1920
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology.
2013 (English)In: Ars Lyrica, ISSN 1043-3848, Vol. 22, 157-178 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The influence of Wagner is one of the most important trends in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century music. This paper will analyze Wagner's influence on the music dramas of Swedish composers Andreas Hallén (1846-1925), Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927), and Wilhelm Peterson- Berger (1867-1942). As Carl Dahlhaus points out, Wagnerian influence is a complex phenomenon that may concern a number of aspects. According to Stephen Huebner, Wagner'sshadow in French fin-de-siècle opera is manifest both on a local level, revealing the effect of his individual operas and even individual passages, and on a broad level of aesthetics and dramaturgy. This is also the case in the Swedish works, where the influences range from Wagnerian quotations and allusions, use of leitmotif technique and chromatic harmony, to Peterson-Berger's views on the genesis, nature and function of music drama. Peterson-Berger was very negative of stylistic imitation of Wagner, dismissing both his Swedish colleagues, and composers from other countries, above all Richard Strauss, as Wagnerian eclectics. His published views on the importance of originality clearly betray an anxiety ofinfluence. The Nietzsche admirer Peterson-Berger was no uncritical follower of Wagner, and his ambition was to create a specifically Swedish music drama that overcame the imperfections in Wagner's works.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 22, 157-178 p.
Keyword [en]
Richard Wagner, influence, Swedish opera, Andreas Hallén, Wilhelm Stenhammar, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112272OAI: diva2:778603
Proceedings of the 2013 Lyrica Dialogues at Harvard
Available from: 2015-01-11 Created: 2015-01-11 Last updated: 2015-11-02Bibliographically approved

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